Smiles & Hugs: Part 2

I was thinking about my blog post from last Monday and trying to figure out WHY has this WANT, this NEED for smiles and hugs been pressing on my heart even more so recently.

It is not like I haven’t wrestled with it in the last 2 years.  It is not like I haven’t figured out how to be at peace with how our world is right now.  No, I don’t like it but it doesn’t mean I can’t find my own joy in the circumstances.

Then it dawned on me….litterally within hours of posting the blog piece….I REALLY MISS MY DAD!

Wednesday will be the year anniversary of having lost him.  A year ago today we were traveling to see him, my mom, and my brother with his family.  It had all been planned out.  We were going to travel on Sunday because we attended our parish mass on Saturday….Christmas had been on Friday…..and we were going to then celebrate New Year’s Eve together as a family….

It was all planned!

I remember as we were driving that something wasn’t quite right.  And think I knew, but didn’t know.

As we were traveling I had discovered my dad was already in the hospital to have some things checked out with his heart.  Nothing super new because he had a history of heart stuff.  By the time we got into NM and to my parent’s house it had been decided that he needed another stint so they would be performing that the next morning and then released that same day after the stint.  Which would take place on my hubby and my wedding anniversary.  We laughed about how we were celebrating our anniversary running around getting goodies for a gift basket for my dad to keep him cheered up being in a hospital room all by himself since he wasn’t allowed any visitors due to the chaos of covid.

I don’t blame the hospital for having to maintain what they were told that needed to happen.  That is totally a different blog post and story for another day.

Back to hugs and smiles.

It had been over a year since the last time I had received a hug from my dad or seen his face (he wasn’t a person who zoomed).  And since I wasn’t allowed to go into the hospital I resorted to singing to him outside of his hospital window with my brother having us on video chat so he could see and hear us and we could see and hear him up closer.

That was the last time I saw my dad alive.

He was the mushiest person.  His top love language was definitely “touch” with “time” right there behind it.

I remember growing up he would get great pleasure dropping me off for middle school and giving me a great big hug and kiss all the time.  He knew I would be like “ugh dad not in front of all my friends”…..

Now I would give anything to have that warm squishy hug and his big soft lips kiss my cheek or forehead.  (I didn’t get his lips….drats…lol)…

There were times even into my adulthood where his hugginess would make me want to just do a quick hug….mostly because I wasn’t receptive to anyone’s hugs unless it was on my terms because of where I was at in my healing from trauma journey….

But oh how I would give anything to have that hug now….even if I wasn’t “in the mood for it”…..

These last 2 years have had all of us thinking we don’t need to have those hugs and smiles.  That we will adust, we will survive.  Yes, we may survive but will we thrive?

I know for me there feels like a huge whole in my heart some days….but what I am learning to do more and more is when I have those moments when I really need a hug….especially from my dad.. is to be vulnerable enough to ask my hubby to hold me extra long.  Or when I am with my mom I hug her much more often because she was with him for almost 50 years so I envision him standing there with her embracing me.  

We were made for touch and the power of hugs is so vital.  I don’t think I fully realized how important they were until I no longer was able to receive a hug from one of the huggiest people I knew: my dad.

So even if you are not a huggy person (I actually know of a few in my life….daurling daughter is one of them)…..even if you say you don’t need hugs or don’t like hugs….I challenge you to increase your hug quota even by one a day until you have what is considered the thriving quota.  I challenge you to see how it can change your life.

And if you still find yourself resisting them….I gently invite you to evaluate is it truly part of your nature (ie my daughter truly has no traumas to resist hugs)……or is it because of a past wound or nurturing that has you resistant.  If it is the latter…..I again gently invite you to enter into that healing to root it out so you can discover the power behind a hug.

As always may your day be blessed and may your connection to God grow….and may your healing journey remind you just how beautifully wonderfully made you are!

Hugs and prayers always,



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